Ski resorts in Victoria, Australia, have been forced to close again as another statewide lockdown was announced yesterday. This is Victoria’s sixth lockdown since the COVID-19 pandemic began and the fourth of 2021.
The last lockdown ended only a week ago on July 27. New rules meant visitors to Victoria’s ski hills had to show a negative COVID-19 test to be able to ski. However, eight new recorded cases and fears of the contagious delta variant have compelled officials to enforce statewide closures yet again.
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The state government leader, Daniel Andrews, blamed the nation’s slow vaccine rollout for the latest restrictions. “We don’t have enough people that have been vaccinated, and therefore, this is the only option available to us,” he said. Australia is lagging behind most developed countries for vaccination rates, with fewer than 20% of the population fully vaccinated.
This new lockdown began at 8:00 pm on Thursday and will last for seven days. It’s another blow to the ski resorts in the area, including Falls Creek, Hotham Alpine Resort, and Mt Buller, many of which saw huge, season-saving snowfalls in the last couple of weeks. Things were starting to look up for the season and this will be a hard pill to swallow for a lot of Australia’s winter enthusiasts.
Falls Creek Resort said they were “deeply saddened” by the news.